Trees to enhance Sidmouth

Graham planting rowan at Stowford. Picture: Diana East

Graham planting rowan at Stowford. Picture: Diana East - Credit: Archant

The Sidmouth Arboretum has many plans lined up for this year, writes group chairman Diana East, and there are hopes for more people to get involved.

Football beneath mature beech trees Salcombe Regis. Picture: Diana East

Football beneath mature beech trees Salcombe Regis. Picture: Diana East - Credit: Archant

Since its inception in 2010, Sidmouth Arboretum has gained support not only from the town council, which declared the whole valley as a civic arboretum, but also from the Sid Vale Association, amongst others.

Without on-going support, the tree planting and tree trail leaflets, guided walks and general raising of awareness of the importance of trees would not have gained momentum.

This spring we are working with the town council to improve the Ham, which they hold in trust. Sidmouth in Bloom has done a great job with improving the visual aspect of the Old Boat Park area, including planting a group of silver birch.

Local residents have replanted the border alongside Glenisla Terrace and now Andy Rowse, working for the town council, will be undertaking tree works near the swimming pool, and the arboretum is delighted to provide a new rowan Sorbus commixta ‘Embley’ to be planted shortly.

Cllr Kelvin Dent leads planting at Knowle. Picture: Diana East

Cllr Kelvin Dent leads planting at Knowle. Picture: Diana East - Credit: Archant


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As the site is near the sea, salt air and strong winds damage the plants, but we hope to have chosen a plant resistant to the worst weather, while providing interest with spring blossom and autumn colour.

Up on Salcombe Hill, at the Salcombe Regis recreation ground where the scouts have their activity centre, we aim to support the town council and scout leaders.

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Work is needed to maintain the boundaries and protect this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, while balancing the needs of the scouts to explore and learn from this fantastic rural setting. The hedges need cutting and the old beech trees need protecting and also new planting, weeding, mulching and staking are required.

We have gained permission to enhance the parkland area of Knowle where, at present, the offices are situated.

Beech planting at Lymebourne. Picture: Diana East

Beech planting at Lymebourne. Picture: Diana East - Credit: Archant

Town councillor Kelvin Dent has been a great supporter of our work and he helped plant the unusual Acer x freemanii close to where a tulip tree fell over last winter.

There are several interesting maples in the parkland and this one adds to the quality of the planting.

Another tree that fell recently is a huge old oak in the Lymebourne Park area of The Byes, close to where the Woolbrook meets the Sid.

Here we planted a beech tree, which should grow well over time and add a significant presence to the nearby homes. Maintenance of planting is all important. The beech hedge, planted with Rotary last year opposite the Beacon Surgery at Stowford, is growing well. Graham Hutchinson has led our planting forays, which include adding a rowan to give colour to the hedgerow.

Would you like to be involved? Our plan is to ask residents to care for some trees close to their home. Advice can be given, and additional help where needed, including some funding.

If this interests you, please contact info@sidmoutharboretum.org.uk

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